(back to Bode
     Hall home)


Wiggle your toes, child.
Pay heed when your crossed ankles, below, behind,
Meaty haunches wedged between wood and cold
Round-bellied gray brown gum-encrusted
underside of this squeaky old desk
Seat cutting into your butt
Remind you that left
To their devices
Lectures will
Pinch and

Fidget happily and listen.

Which swath of color fills
The center of our canvas?

A princess wrapped in superlative?
Rough-cut planks, torn sails, blood?
A thousand angry captains filled
With team spirit and longing?
The full ruby lips of a random
Noble sweepstakes winner howling,
Jumping up and down, waving the
Lucky ticket, or the phlegmatic
God in his olympian sound booth,
Telling her over the applause
Just what she's won,

The rosebuds you gather
Whisper of you in passing
To the cat, who twists
Their shade and winks at
The bugs she swipes.  They
Go home at night, quaking.

Where did you get those again?

Some guy poked me in the ribs
And said to me this once,
Hey kid, when you gonna find
Yourself a sweetheart so I
Can talk to you about mine?

Wiggle your toes, child.
Stand up full, shake off
Your top-heavy desk and
Run out to find that guy.

Tell him he can meet me
On the opposite shore
When my fleet has grown
Enough to hold her face.

With that,
The thin-faced man laid down his chalk,
Propped his trousers against the globe,
And scrapingly waltzed his rolly-chair
Down the hall.  

-skyler, January 2000